Is there ‘VALUE’ in being Australian Made?
The ongoing debate of being Australian Made. Does it add value? Or is it something that no longer matters to society and the buying habits that influence a consumers decision?
Consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their buying behaviours, seeing old hack marketing tricks no longer pulling the wool over their eyes. With a more conscious market, the question has been raised, is there now value in being Australian Made?
Throughout the Covid-19 period, we saw a large shift in buying trends from consumers. The most noticeable though, buying Australian Made and Owned.
Did you notice?
The pandemic in some way shifted the cultural buying habits, making consumers more aware and conscious about where and who they spend their money with.
But, does this actually add VALUE to a brand? If so, should more brands become conscious of this moving forward?
Connect with an aligned purpose.
Recently, I caught up with a friend who began talking about the current global issues and how he vowed to only now buy Australian Made moving forward. This was a bloke that would not have given this a second thought previously, but, his opinion and positioning on the current global issues shifted his belief system and in turn persuaded his buying decisions. Pretty powerful!
This new vow then quickly lead him into expressing how expensive Australian Made products are… Can’t have your cake and eat it to kind of scenario. I had a bit of giggle then proceeded to ask, ‘ ok, but will you still buy Australian Made then?’, his answer, ‘yes’.
My friends belief system was strong enough, that it influenced his buying decision which no longer became about price, it became about the purpose.
This is the true power of a brand, to influence a buying decision beyond the practicalities of function and price. It becomes about aligning and connecting through a shared belief system, something that cannot be competed with.
Let me share with you another story from a past client which provides an insight into another angle of the Australian Made tag…
Creating Quality & Trust.
Jacobs Ladder is a brand that has innovated and to some, revolutionised the boating industry in how you board and disembark trailerable boats. John, client and inventor of Jacobs Ladder, designed his product out of need, he had a problem and created the solution. John is also a proud Aussie bloke, so from day one, he made a vow that he would keep 100% of the manufacturing and producing of his products here in Australia, and proudly label his brand as Australian Made.
Now given, I am not here to say that this was an easy feet for John with costs of manufacturing and the pricing of labour in this country, that story is for another day. What I was pleasantly surprised to hear was that his overseas customers loved the idea that these products were Australian made with their comments being ‘they must be good quality’.
To an overseas market, and to our credit, Australia does have a good reputation for producing quality products, and John’s ladders were definitely 100% quality.
So in the case of John, having the stamp of Australian Made added value to his brand and provided the perception of ‘quality’ and ‘trust’ to an overseas market who could not physically touch the product before they purchased. So, it was important for us to establish trust, early.
The reason why I share this story with you is because we knew that part of John’s brand strategy and positioning was his Australian Made tag. We knew this was an appeal to overseas markets, something in which they valued.
So, is there VALUE in being Australian Made, absolutely.
Buying Australian Made is a growing consumer trend, with many becoming more conscious of where and whom they buy from.
However, this can be said for some markets, but not all…
The Australian Made tag is just one brand positioning element to consider, a position that may enable you to stop competing because you are no longer selling just a product, you are selling a social consciousness that makes your market FEEL good, a powerful position to hold.
So while this can be very effective for some businesses, it will not suit all or be of value to every market that exists.
Ensure this is the right move for your brand.
If transitioning into becoming Australian Made is on your list, here are a few questions to ask before making the move.
- Is this a true value to you. This must be a positioning you truly care about, because if you don’t, it will become very hard to sustain. Which leads me to point two…
- Ensure going Australian Made is sustainable. Not all products can be manufactured here is Aus, it just isn’t practical. If you are going to go down the Australian Made road, ensure you understand your supply chain and that it can support your future growth. Brand value is built on consistency, delivering the same message and values time and time again. If you need to move some of your manufacturing overseas to support future growth, this may be detrimental to the brand foundation you already worked so hard to build. A move that could lose trust with a market that has supported you to this point…
- Finally, ensure this is something your market cares about. Is this a buying decision within their day to day shopping habits. Do THEY value products that are Australian Made? Is it a deciding factor?
At the end of the day, brands exist to add value, to stand for something and to inspire the change they want to see in the world. Being Australian Made is just one position you can take to help achieve this.
Whatever position your brand decides to take, just make sure to infuse it into everything that you do.
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